Search This Site

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Nightwing Key Issues Part 4

We are gonna wrap up this Nightwing key issues series with this Part 4. Don't really have much more to say except that we'll be getting a little bit into the New 52 and ending with the Rebirth stuff that alters or adds a bit more back ground that's specific to Richard Grayson.

So, short intro here and if you missed Part 3, that link will bring ya back.

1st Catalina Flores as Tarantula II

In Part 3 to this series we covered the debut of Catalina Flores as her civilian self and mentioned that she would become the 2nd Tarantula. Well, she makes her debut as the masked vigilante in this issue here.

Alright, in the early issues of this Nightwing comic series, Dick is in the police academy and trying to become a cop in Bl├╝dhaven. By this issue, he has already achieved this goal.

So he is a cop and yet a vigilante, basically breaking the law as Nightwing. His partner is Amy Rohrbach who first appeared in Nightwing #48.

Just giving a little more back ground that really doesn't have much to do with the 1st Catalina Flores as the 2nd Tarantula. Here's how she debuts in this issue.

She does appear more than enough to warrant a 1st appearance, and they do have a team up of sorts in this issue as well. However, Nightwing is not all that impressed with her and tries to convince her to leave the vigilantism to him.

He does encourage her to join the force, though. Nightwing #75 volume 2 has the estimated print run of 33,534 and the cover date of January, 2003.

1st appearance of new team
1st Grace and Thunder
Nightwing joins team

This version of the Outsiders team is pretty different than the other versions as it really doesn't have much ties to Batman. The version of The Outsiders team actually has more to do with the Titans and Young Justice since much of the membership is from those two teams.

So Arsenal gets a reluctant Nightwing to join the ranks, and it is decided that instead of being a reactive super-hero team, this group would instead hunt down super-villains before they could cause trouble.

The team begins with Arsenal, Nightwing, Thunder, Grace, Indigo and Shift. Grace and Thunder debut in this issue, and Thunder is the daughter of Black Lightning. Jade would soon join the team also.

August, 2003 marks the cover of The Outsiders #1 from the 3rd series and estimated print run is about 47,750 .

1st Rose Wilson as Ravager

Might as well put this one on here since Rose Wilson as Ravager has been an enemy and team member of the Teen Titans, but the real reason is that Deathstroke did get Nightwing to train Rose. So there was a teacher/student plus team mate relationship between the two.

As mentioned in the Deathstroke key issues series, Rose Wilson is the daughter of Slade Wilson and she does become the 2nd Ravager. While being trained by Nightwing, she develops a one-sided crush on him.

In finding out that her father willfully endangered her life, Rose would severe her ties with him and join the Teen Titans. In the New 52, her half-Asian ancestry was wiped out and she was the daughter of Slade and his ex wife Adeline Kane.

With the new Rebirth comics, her Asian heritage was put back in place and her being trained by Nightwing was brought back into the fold. Although CGC does note this as the 1st appearance of Rose Wilson as Ravager, she only appears on a full page at the end.

68,171 is the estimated print number, and the date of April, 2004 marks the cover of Teen Titans #8 volume 3.

NIGHTWING #101-106
Nightwing Year One story line
Revamps Nightwing origin

Yes, as we talked about why Dick Grayson stopped being Robin in Batman #408, this story line completely has a different reason Nightwing came about. So this story line begins with issue #101 and we do get to see the different reason why Dick is forced to retire as the Boy Wonder.

Just like in Batman #408, Dick is forced to retire the role but for different reasons. He was not shot by the Joker in this version, and Batman was not concerned with his safety.

Actually, Batman is pissed off that Dick is spending more time with the Titans than being his sidekick. Here's a bit of banter that hints at the eventual later on in issue #101.

Then later on the comic, things definitely heat up when Bruce Wayne won't hear none of Dick's excuses. Yep, Dick is fired from the role Trump-style.

This sets in motion Dick trying to figure out what he wants to do. In issue #102, there is once again reference to an original Nightwing when Supes has a little chat with Dick.

Unlike the original version, Superman did not take up the mantle of Nightwing on Kandor. This Nightwing was also from Krypton and was considered a legend that no Kryptonian really knew who the vigilante was. Anyway, here's how Dick learns of the Nightwing name in this revamp.

So, revamped origin of Nightwing, different reason why he's let go of being Robin, and more confusion to the often mess of DC's reboots and multi-verses to a non-expert like myself. In issue #104 of this rebooted origin, Dick goes back to Haly's Circus and performs there for a minute. He is given his Nightwing costume.

As of this writing, I don't think issues #101 through #106 are overly-sought out in the current market, but I did want to feature these issues solely for the example of the different origins of how Nightwing came to be.

Personally I still like the original in New Teen Titans #39 that leads up to Tales of the Teen Titans #44. Alright, here's the print run estimate break down for the Nightwing Year One issues.

#101 - estimated print run of around 38,021
#102 - estimated print run of around 36,020
#103 - estimated print run of around 36,938
#104 - estimated print run of around 36,427
#105 - estimated print run of around 38,909
#106 - estimated print run of around 38,724  

Cover dates for Nightwing #101 to #106 range from March, 2005 to May, 2005.

1st full or Intro of Damian Wayne

As a baby, Damian debuted unnamed in Batman: Son of the Demon, and he is the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul. He made another cameo in the previous issue to this one in Batman #655 as in another cameo and still unnamed. Issue #655 does show Damian's eyes and reveals that Bruce Wayne is his father, but he is in shadow most of the time in that issue.

CGC notes this issue of Batman #656 as Damian Wayne's 1st full appearance and Overstreet notes it as an Intro of Damian Wayne. He is still unnamed and only shown in four panels and one full page at the end.

However, he is fully shown on that last full page and also appears on the cover fully shown as well. I guess these things count when it comes to a 1st full appearance, and Bruce's son is finally named in the next issue of Batman #657.

Ok, so what's the deal with Damian Wayne? He is a Batman character for sure and part of the Batman Family, but we all know that Dick Grayson did take up the mantle of Batman after the events of Battle for the Cowl story line.

Dick as Batman did promote Damian Wayne as his Robin instead of Tim Drake. Even though he was not partner to Dick as Nightwing, the two did have a close bond when Dick assumed the mantle of Batman. In more recent comics, Nightwing and Batman would team up to get revenge on Heretic for killing Damian.

The character would of course be resurrected and even guest-star in the new Rebirth Nightwing comics.

95,800 is the estimated print run for Batman #656 and it's cover date is October, 2006.

1st Prime-Earth Nightwing
1st appearance of Saiko
1st appearance of Raya Vestri

Reboot, reboot, reboot! The New 52 again, a subject that cannot be escaped if we are talking about most DC Comics characters.

Pretty tired of discussing it, but Nightwing did have some changes to his background or even origin concerning the New 52. It's more like an extension or add on stuff when it concerns his lineage and the whole Haly Circus and it's connections with his family.

So, Saiko is Dick's childhood friend from Haly's Circus. His real name is Raymond McCreary, and he, Dick and Raya Vestri were all friends.

However, Raya and Raymond were jealous that Dick was star of the circus. After the death of Grayson's parents and when Bruce adopted him, the Court of Owls recruited McCreary to become part of their league of Talons.

He did not cut it and was eventually left to die. Along with Raya, Saiko would seek revenge on Dick Grayson and the circus but would die a few issues after this one.

Fans of Nightwing say this is a good character-specific villain, but I don't really see the long-lasting impact. Still, a character connected to Dick and his New 52 origins regardless.

There is a 2nd print red cover variant for this issue, but I am not sure about the print number or what. Estimated print run the regular cover is around 62,717.
Yes, this issue also first sees the red and black Nightwing costume as well. Nightwing #1 volume 3 has the cover date of November, 2011.

1st appearance of Talon
1st mention of Court of Owls

When it comes to the character of Talon, there are two distinct versions of the character and both are so far tied to the Court of Owls. The Talons are a legion of highly trained assassins for the Court of Owls.

The first distinct character to appear under the name of Talon for the Court of Owls is William Cobb. He is a strange character and is supposedly Dick Grayson's great grandfather.

Cobb's son is known as the Gray Son of Gotham, who would father Dick's dad John Grayson. The Court of Owls in the New 52 are heavily linked to Dick Grayson or his background.

As mentioned before, the are a secret society of some of Gotham's most influential and have controlled the city in the shadows for centuries dating back to colonial times. The Court of Owls have already debuted on the TV series Gotham and so has the character of Talon.

Talon's identity for the show has remained a mystery so far on the show, but the actor is Brandon Alan Smith. In the comics, the Court of Owls have some way of resurrecting Talons that have died.

Supposedly a metal called Electrum makes this happen as revealed in Batman #7 volume 2, and Dick finds out that Cobb is his great-grandfather in Batman #7 also.

William Cobb's origin begins to unravel in Nightwing #8 volume 3.

When it comes to the Jim Lee variant of this issue, I have no idea how limited it is or if the print run number is included in the total estimated yearly sales that ComicChron lists this issue as having. Could be a 50/50 thing or whatever, so not entirely sure when it comes to that variant. However, the sketch cover is a 1:200 deal.

Alright so estimated print run is not surprisingly low for this issue at a whopping 172,428. If the Lee variant is a 50/50 thing it would still not be a low estimated print run for both covers at around 86,000.

The 1:200 sketch should be around 800 copies. December, 2011 is the cover date for Batman #2 of the New 52 series.

1st full appearance of Court of Owls?

Not entirely sure why issue #5 is considered the 1st full appearance of Court of Owls. They mainly show up in pictures in the previous issue, but they do show up in this issue fully seen and physically in the story. 

Overstreet nor CGC are really noting Court of Owl's 1st appearances or cameos yet. This mysterious society are being used in the Gotham TV series.

Lincoln March (Owlman) is a member of the court, and even Nightwing would be blackmailed into joining the society.

Gerry has written a more detailed post about this comic over at Graded Key Comics. Click the link to check it out.

So there's quite a few variants, and 2nd printings for this comic. The only one where I can somewhat find or gauge print run info is the 1:200 sketch variant of this comic.

Print run for the regular cover is 138,300. 1:200 sketch should be around 700 copies. Supposedly the combo pack editions have low distribution also.

Batman #6 volume 2 is cover-dated April, 2012.

1st appearance of Amelia Crowne
Origin of William Cobb begins

With the origin of William Cobb, it's no surprise that Dick's family origins are also revealed since the character is his great-grandfather. This origin story also hints a bit about the Court of Owls and how they tie into Cobb and Gotham's past.

So in this origin we learn that there are two kinds of people in Gotham during the time he grew up. There are the "children of the city", meaning the rich and powerful, and those that just "lived there".

Cobb did not come from affluent means and his father was an iron worker. After his father died when a bridge he was working on collapsed, a young Cobb performed on the streets for pennies until he was recruited to perform at where?

I bet you can guess it by now. You're correct, and it's Haly's Circus.

Performing at Haly's Circus made Cobb into a star, and he felt like he was finally becoming a"child of Gotham". He would be in for a rude awakening, however.

As a star performer, Cobb would meet Amelia Crowne and the pair would fall in love. Amelia's father was Burton Crowne, one of the elite in Gotham.

No surprise that Burton would not approve of the relationship and that Burton would refuse to acknowledge him as a possible heir. Okay, this is running into issue #9, and if ya wanna find out more about this particular origin, it will be in the next listing below.

64,100 is the estimated print run for Nightwing #8 volume 3. There is a 2nd printing red cover variant. Cover date for this issue is June, 2012. 

Origin of William Cobb continues

So in issue #8, we are first given the beginning to the origin of William Cobb, also known as Richard Grayson's great-grandfather. It leaves off with Cobb and Amelia Crowne falling in love.

In this issue, we learn how Burton Crowne disapproves of his daughter's relationship with William Cobb. The rich snob tells Cobb exactly what he thinks of him and how the City of Gotham really works on a class-level.

As it turns out, Amelia was pregnant with William's child. Realizing that there was no choice in the matter, Cobb severed his ties with Amelia and she married someone her father approved of.

William would then be recruited by the Court of Owls under the guise of being able to change the city of Gotham.

Cobb would steal his son from the Crowne's, not wanting his legacy to be one of them. Instead, he gives his son (Richard's grandfather) to Mr. Haly to raise. The last name of Gray Son comes from the analogy of white and black with no gray area that Burton Crowne gave him.

So, there's quite a bit of back history for the character of Richard Grayson. Pretty good reads issues #8 and #9 were to be honest.

Nightwing #9 volume 3 has an estimated print run of around 64,800 and the cover date of July, 2012.

1st appearance & origin of Calvin Rose

The 2nd distinct Talon to debut that's connected to the Court of Owls in DC Comics is Calvin Rose. He is the only Talon to have escaped the Court of Owls and is one of the good guys.

Rose is considered part of the Batman Family and even joined Batman Incorporated. I am not sure if he has appeared in any of the recent Rebirth stuff currently.

Once again, he was a performer at Haly's Circus and an expert escape artist before being recruited by the court. This spin-off series only lasted until issue #17, but fans do talk about the character.

As of this writing, this 1st appearance key isn't the most sought-out and still pretty cheap. Estimated print run or sales to North American comic shops for this issue is around 57,300.

There is a sketch variant for this comic, and some sources say it's a 1:100 deal. If that's true, the sketch variant print run should only be around 500 to 600 copies.

Pretty rare for the sketch variant of this issue if you're into getting rare variants. By issue #6, this series fell pretty fast and the estimated print run was around 25,000 copies.

By issue #17 of the comic series, the estimated print run was around 13,956. Talon #0 has the cover date of November, 2012.

1st appearance of Raptor

According to fans, Raptor has so far been shaping up to be noteworthy villain for Nightwing. I have no idea and don't follow Modern Age comics.

This character or villain had a cameo in Nightwing Rebirth #1 and he is tied to the origin of Dick's parents. Apparently, Raptor as a child was also a performer at a different traveling circus and met and fell in love with Dick's mom, Mary Lloyd.

As kids, he and Mary would steal from the rich and powerful. As fate would have it, Mary would meet and marry John Grayson but Raptor never got over his feelings for Mary.

When she died, he blamed himself for not being able to protect her. Once again, Dick's parents were killed by Tony Zucco over money disputes, bringing back the original origin for Dick Grayson.

Raptor would become an assassin for the Court of Owls. Seems like the Court of Owls is becoming noteworthy enemies of both Batman and Nightwing.

We shall see if Raptor is utilized furthermore and in a big way to reach a more iconic status as a Nightwing villain. He is a pretty new character.

There is a variant cover to this issue, but I don't really know any specifics about it. Raptor's origin would be revealed in issue #9 of this comic series. With the cover date of September, 2016, Nightwing #1 volume 4 has an estimated print run of about 114,787.

Alright, I'm gonna end this Nightwing key issues series here and maybe get back to it later in the future. As a character spin-off, writers and creatives haven't really produced many iconic villains specific to the hero.

Nightwing's more iconic villains are definitely shared from Batman. Looks like the Rebirth stuff is keeping the whole Court of Owls connection to Nightwing and the Grayson family. As mentioned before, Raptor's origin is revealed in Nightwing #8 of the 4th series.

Print run estimates for issue #8 is around 56,091. It does have a variant 8B by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado. 

The issue where Nightwing and Oracle get married is in Convergence: Nightwing & Oracle #2. Estimated print run is 45,185. No idea what the print run is for the variant or if it shares the total number in that estimated print run given.

Gonna take a short break from the key issues lists and discuss some other things I recently have commitments to. So, see ya soon for some other comic goodness shortly and enjoy the rest of this weekend while I rid of what little is left of this darn cold.